D.C. Bucket List Goals

D.C. Bucket List Goals!

Warmer weather means more time outside to explore D.C.!

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With warm weather approaching it means excursions to D.C. become easier, and much more pleasant. Here are nine ideas to help you plan your excursions.

Visit the museums

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The majority of them are free so there's literally no excuse for you not to take up this amazing opportunity!

Attend more free events

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D.C. has so many free events ranging from concerts, opportunities to see art, etc.

Go to brunch in D.C.

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D.C. has so many good restaurants, especially brunch options! The last time I went to D.C., we went to Songbyrd for brunch and it was amazing.

See the monuments

Again, free!

Go to a concert

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Lots of artists come to D.C., so take advantage of the short metro ride to see your favorite artists.

National Cherry Blossom Festival

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I've been wanting to go to this for so long and this is the year I'm going to make it happen.

Go to the National Zoo

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Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

Hike at Rock Creek Park

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Grab some friends, a speaker, and your tennis shoes to go hike in this beautiful park.

Artechouse

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Although it isn't free, it's a super cool art museum that you won't see anywhere else.

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A Beginner's Guide To Understanding Depression

What your friends might want you to know.

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Disclaimer: This article is a guide to handling people with depression. But mental illness is a dice roll, not an equation, so this isn't a comprehensive guide to handling everyone's depression. Chronic sadness looks different for every one of the people it effects. If this guide doesn't help you, just try treating your friend with depression like you would treat anyone else--with patience and understanding.

Anyways.

Understand that your friend is as frustrated with their depression as you are.

Depression makes people feel heavy for no reason. Some mornings are okay, I wake up and take my medication and drink my coffee and feel what I think I'm supposed to.

Other days it feels like my heart is made of every inconvenience: every paper cut and burned out hallway lightbulb. Try to be gentle, because even basic tasks seem hard and frustrating. Getting out of bed feels like throwing myself to the sharks when I'm already bleeding.

Be considerate with how you phrase things.

Try not to say "that gives me anxiety" or "that makes me depressed." It's a small thing, but chronic mental illnesses are very real for people. It's a little frustrating when someone minimizes it into a feeling instead of something that constantly perpetuates your mind, body, and soul.

Learn how to talk without words and "listen" to their body language.

Just saying "I get sad too" and "it's going to be okay" is helpful, but not always what we want to hear. We've heard that before. I'm sure it's going to be okay, but right now what I need is something else.

It's helpful to understand when we can keep up a conversation and when we just want silence and a hug, or to be left alone, or just to sit together and just be together. Depression does a lot to try to isolate its victims, and sometimes that is what they need. But it says a lot being present, even if you aren't doing anything extensive.

Just because I'm not obviously and openly sad, it doesn't mean my depression is invalid.

It isn't every day that I want to pull every thread from my body and unravel myself until I turn into nothing. Sometimes I feel the sunshine on my shoulders, see the first few blooms of spring, feel the promise of summer in the atmosphere and remember why I still wake up every morning. I have the ability to feel happy, to feel content.

But even when the day is filled with good friends and decent coffee and warm weather, there's always an inner struggle. There's always something telling me I'm not good enough, I will never amount to anything, and I might as well stop trying. My mind will always be trying to sabotage me, but sometimes I can ignore it long enough to feel some semblance of contentedness.

The most important thing to know: There is no easy solution.

There is no magical serotonin pill, no amount of therapy or yoga that will make the weight in your stomach disappear. Some people don't need meds, some people really, really do. Therapy doesn't work for everyone. The question "are you okay?" is a tough thing to answer. Yes, no, not right now.

Understand that your friend might not even be sure what they need to feel better, so try not to prescribe them exercise or more water. We know it's important, but when your chest feels like it's constantly filled with ice water, it's difficult to think about working out and drinking detox tea.

These are just 5 surface level examples of how you can communicate with your friends that have depression. It doesn't always have to be a big, dramatic action. If you are unsure, your friend is most likely going to be more than happy to explain how they prefer to be treated when their depression is especially difficult.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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